358 Commonwealth was designed by Obed F. Smith, architect, and built in 1883-1884 by Vinal & Dodge, masons, for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr. for speculative sale. He is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated November 30, 1883. The house was originally numbered 356 Commonwealth until about 1889, when 328 Commonwealth was built and the houses to the west of it were renumbered.
358 Commonwealth was one of thirteen houses (336-360 Commonwealth) built for George Wheatland, Jr., by Warren D. Vinal and Charles A. Dodge on land owned by Charles Merriam and by Jacob Rogers. 336 Commonwealth was designed by George Avery, 338-340 Commonwealth were designed by Bradlee, Winslow, and Wetherell, and 342-360 Commonwealth were designed by Obed F. Smith.
Charles Merriam purchased his land, with a 50 foot frontage, on October 25, 1879, from David Skillings, and Jacob Rogers purchased his land, with a 231 foot frontage to the west of Charles Merriam’s parcel, on January 19, 1880, also from David Skilllings. All of the land was part of two parcels originally purchased from the Boston Water Power Company on April 19, 1870, and December 16, 1870, by David Skillings as trustee for a trust composed of himself, Lawrence Barnes of Burlington, Vermont, Charles Whitney of Lowell, and David Whitney, Jr., of Detroit. The land had subsequently changed hands and he had re-acquired it, in his own name, on January 12, 1878.
336-338 Commonwealth were built first, in 1881-1883, on Charles Merriam’s land. On December 10, 1881, after 336 Commonwealth was completed, Charles Merriam sold George Wheatland, Jr., the house and land, together with the remainder of his land to the west. On the same day, George Wheatland, Jr., sold 336 Commonwealth and the 24 foot lot at 338 Commonwealth to Warren Vinal and Charles Dodge. He retained the two feet to the west. Warren Vinal and Charles Dodge sold 336 Commonwealth in June of 1882, and sold 338 Commonwealth back to George Wheatland, Jr., in July of 1883, after it was completed.
340-360 Commonwealth were built between 1883 and 1885 on Jacob Rogers’s land. All of the building permit applications were filed by George Wheatland, Jr., in November of 1883, and the houses were constructed by Vinal & Dodge, with the houses towards the east built first. Jacob Rogers sold his land to George Wheatland, Jr., in one- and two-lot transactions between November of 1883 and January of 1885, sometimes before construction of the houses had begun and sometimes after the houses were substantially completed.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 358 Commonwealth, and click here for further information on the land on the south side of Commonwealth between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue.
On December 4, 1884, Jacob Rogers sold George Wheatland, Jr., the land where 358 Commonwealth was built.
On August 15, 1885, 358 Commonwealth was purchased from George Wheatland, Jr., by Job Abiel Turner. He and his wife, Vesta Howard (Torrey) Turner Turner, lived in Newton (Vesta Turner had previously been married to Job A. Turner’s second cousin, Albion Turner, who had died in 1853). Job Turner was treasurer of the George F. Blake Manufacturing Company, which manufactured steam pumps and water meters.
Job Turner purchased the house for his son and daughter-in-law, Albion Bryant Turner and Mary Alice (Rawson) Turner, who had married in January of 1885. On August 28, 1885, he transferred the property to Mary Turner.
Albion Turner was a clerk with the George F. Blake Manufacturing Company. In about 1887, he joined with his brother-in-law, George A. Rawson, and Botsford Ralph Clarke, a mechanical engineer, to form Turner, Clarke & Rawson, developers of water works systems. He later became a banker and broker.
Albion and Mary Alice Turner continued to live at 358 Commonwealth during the 1886-1887 winter season, but moved thereafter to 457 Beacon.
On December 7, 1887, 358 Commonwealth was purchased from Mary Alice Turner by Arthur D. McClellan, an attorney. He and his wife, Mary A. (Townsend) McClellan, made it their home. They had lived next door, at 356 Commonwealth, during the previous season.
They continued to live at 358 Commonwealth during the 1889-1890 winter season, but moved thereafter to the Hotel Vendôme.
During the 1890-1891 winter season, 358 Commonwealth was the home of Wallace Lincoln Pierce and his wife, Stella Louise (Walworth) Pierce. They previously had lived in Milton. Wallace Pierce was a partner in and later president of the S. S. Pierce Company, importers and retail dealers in groceries, founded by his father, Samuel Stillman Pierce. By 1892, they were again living in Milton.
On May 20, 1891, 358 Commonwealth was purchased from Arthur McClellan by George Fordyce Blake, owner of the George F. Blake Manufacturing Company, the company for which Job A. Turner had been treasurer. George F. Blake and his wife, Martha Jane (Skinner) Blake, lived in Belmont; in June of 1892, they purchased and subsequently moved to 196 Commonwealth.
358 Commonwealth became the home of George Blake’s son and daughter-in-law, George Fordyce Blake, Jr., and Carrie Howard (Turner) Blake. Carrie Blake was the daughter of Job and Vesta Turner. George Blake, Jr., was an iron and steel merchant. They previously had lived in Worcester.
Job A. Turner had died in March of 1886 and Carrie Blake’s mother, Vesta Howard (Torrey) Turner Turner, lived with them.
The Blakes and Mrs. Turner continued to live at 358 Commonwealth during the 1894-1895 winter season. By 1896, the Blakes had moved back to Worcester and Mrs. Turner was living at the Hotel Brunswick (southeast corner of Clarendon and Boylston).
358 Commonwealth was not listed in the 1896 Blue Book.
On May 13, 1896, 358 Commonwealth was purchased from George F. Blake by Lester Leland, Jr., as trustee of a trust established by his mother, Mary Elizabeth (Babcock) Leland, the widow of Lester Leland, to manage her property. Lester Leland, Jr., was officer of several rubber manufacturing companies. He and his wife, Frances Eugenia (Converse) Leland, lived at 1 Raleigh and later at 422 Beacon.
358 Commonwealth became Mary Elizabeth Leland’s home. She previously had lived at 162 West Canton. Her son-in-law and daughter, Dr. Orren Burnham Sanders and Florence Josephine (Leland) Sanders, lived with her. He was a homeopathic physician and also maintained his office at 358 Commonwealth. They previously had lived (and he had maintained his office) at 370 Columbus.
Orren Sanders died in September of 1913, killed in an automobile accident, and Florence Sanders died in October of 1913. They had no children and 358 Commonwealth was inherited by her brother, Lester Leland.
On April 17, 1920, 358 Commonwealth was acquired from Lester Leland by Dr. William Henry Gilpatric. He and his wife, Carolyn Draper (Nutt) Gilpatric, lived in Winchester. On June 29, 1920, he transferred the property into his wife’s name, and in July of 1920 she acquired 356 Commonwealth..
William Gilpatric was a dentist specializing in orthodontia, and he converted 356-358 Commonwealth into dental offices.
In June of 1920, Dr. Gilpatric filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 358 Commonwealth from an office and single-family dwelling into three dental offices and “habitation.” In July of 1920, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 356 Commonwealth from offices and lodgings into dental offices. As part of the applications, he also received permission to cut doors in the party wall between the two buildings, on the first floor.
On July 30, 1926, Carolyn Gilpatric transferred 356-358 Commonwealth into her and her husband’s names.
In April of 1928, the Gilpatrics acquired 360 Commonwealth, and that same month they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the interior, including cutting four doors in the party wall connecting with 358 Commonwealth. The building’s use was shown as being dental offices.
William Gilpatric died in March of 1938. Carolyn Gilpatric continued to own 356-358-360 Commonwealth and to live in Winchester.
On April 26, 1946, 356-358-360 Commonwealth were acquired from Carolyn Gilpatric by real estate dealer Howard Stephen Cosgrove of Winchester.
On February 16, 1948, 356-358-360 Commonwealth were acquired from Howard Cosgrove by Harry H. Byron. In March of 1948, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 356-358 Commonwealth from 23 dental offices into 22 dental offices and one office for medical massage and physical therapy.
356-358-360 Commonwealth changed hands and on September 4, 1960, were acquired by Hyman Goodman. By that time, each building contained dental offices and six apartments.
In November of 1960, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the dental offices on the second, third, and fourth floors at 356 and 358 Commonwealth into apartment use, expanding the existing apartments (and not increasing the number of units). 356 Commonwealth subsequently had one dental office and six apartments, and 358 Commonwealth had two dental offices and six apartments.
356-358-360 Commonwealth changed hands and on June 30, 1966, were acquired by real estate dealer Michael J. Smith, trustee of Wethersfield Associates.
On September 1, 1967, 356-358-360 Commonwealth were acquired from Michael Smith by Robert White. He already owned nine other buildings on the block – 324–326–328–330–332–334–336 Commonwealth, 344 Commonwealth, and 348 Commonwealth – and would acquire 354 Commonwealth in 1972 and 322 Commonwealth, 346 Commonwealth, and 350 Commonwealth in 1978.
In December of 1988, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 356 Commonwealth into ten apartments and 358 Commonwealth into nine apartments, and at the same time to consolidate the two buildings as one property, with nineteen units. In May of 1989, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 356-358 Commonwealth into one office and nineteen apartments.
On February 1, 1991, Robert White transferred 322-330 Commonwealth, 336 Commonwealth, 344-350 Commonwealth, and 354-360 Commonwealth to Charles White Management, Inc. He transferred 334 Commonwealth on April 8, 1999.
In February of 1992, Robert White filed for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the number of apartments at 356-358 Commonwealth from nineteen to twenty-one by converting the office into two apartments.
In September of 2000, Charles White Management applied for (and subsequently received) permission to combine 356-358 Commonwealth and 360 Commonwealth into a single property consisting of 27 apartments (18 in 356-358 Commonwealth and 9 in 360 Commonwealth) and one professional office (in 360 Commonwealth).
356-358-360 Commonwealth remained an apartment house in 2018.